Driving under the influence (DUI) in Los Angeles can endanger other drivers on the road. Sometimes, driving after drinking alcohol causes a driver to wreck their vehicle. These accidents lead to fatalities in some cases.
Is it involuntary manslaughter if someone dies in a drunk driving accident? California does not use involuntary manslaughter charges to prosecute drunk driving fatalities. Instead, the state uses two specific charges:
- Penal Code 191.5b: Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated (Regular Negligence) OR
- Penal Code 191.5a: Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
Let’s find out more about these criminal charges right here from the Los Angeles DUI lawyer at our firm.
Manslaughter Charges for Drunk Driving in California
California uses two primary charges to prosecute vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Both of these charges only apply to people who were driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. These drivers must then commit the following:
- An infraction
- A misdemeanor OR
- A dangerous but lawful act
Drivers must also demonstrate negligence. Negligence involves acting in a way that puts other people in danger. Generally, negligent drivers do not act reasonably. Gross negligence often involves taking a step you know will threaten someone else’s life.
Information About Involuntary Manslaughter in California
The court system prosecutes involuntary manslaughter using Penal Code 192b. Involuntary manslaughter occurs if someone causes another person’s death. To face this charge, the accused must commit an infraction, misdemeanor, or dangerous lawful act.
Generally, involuntary manslaughter charges are not used for motor vehicle accidents. The state uses vehicular manslaughter charges to prosecute fatal car accident cases. Note that the court also uses charges for:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Attempted murder
Attempted murder and murder are some of the most serious charges in California. These charges can lead to life in prison. In some cases, murder charges can even lead to the death penalty here in California.
Talk to our DUI defense lawyers today about your case. We will offer a clear assessment so you understand what is at risk and how you can go about fighting the charges.
Results of a PC 191.5 or 191.5b Conviction in California
PC 191.5a and 191.5b are not prosecuted similarly in California. PC 191.5b is considered a wobbler. These charges are treated as either misdemeanors or felonies.
Drivers face different penalties depending upon the type of charge they face. For a PC 191.5b misdemeanor, they may face the following:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
However, a felony conviction may result in the following:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Prison time of up to four years
PC 191.5a Charges
PC 191.5a charges are handled more harshly. Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is always a felony in California. Individuals convicted of this act face the following:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Prison time of up to 10 years
A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may help you learn more about these charges. Allow a lawyer to discuss all vehicular manslaughter accusations with you now. Reach us by calling our office today. We’re ready to review the legal system in California with you.
Defenses for Vehicular Manslaughter While Under the Influence
You can contact a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles if you’re charged under PC 191.5a or 191.5b. Members of our team are ready to assess your situation right now.
We’re prepared to investigate your case and work on your defense. This may involve showing that you did not cause the accident, you were not under the influence, and that you were not demonstrating negligence.
You Did Not Cause the Accident
You should only face charges for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated if you caused the collision. Perhaps you were driving under the influence, but this does not mean that you took actions that led to a wreck.
Another driver may be at-fault for the accident. Let us review the facts of your case. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
The longer you wait to talk to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, the more difficult it becomes to find success when charged with DUI.
You Were Not Under the Influence
Sometimes, drivers are accused of operating a vehicle under the influence when they did not. We are ready to dispute the results of any blood alcohol content (BAC) tests you took. This can help show that you were sober during the accident.
You Weren’t Demonstrating Negligence
You must show negligence to face a PC 191.5a or 191.5b conviction. Negligence involves acting unreasonably or dangerously. Perhaps you acted as a reasonable person would in your situation and still ended up in an accident.
A lawyer can work to build your defense in this situation. Let our Los Angeles DUI lawyer review your case and build a strong defense on your behalf.
Finding the Right DUI Defense Attorney in California
You need to make the right choice when looking for a DUI defense attorney in California. Be sure you do the following when researching attorneys:
- Ask for referrals from family members and close friends.
- Read the testimonials published on the law firm’s website.
- Ensure that the DUI attorney focuses solely on DUI crime.
- Schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer to ask questions and get to know each other better.
Talk to a Lawyer About Drunk Driving and Involuntary Manslaughter
Fatal drunk driving accidents are not considered involuntary manslaughter in California. The state uses vehicular manslaughter charges to prosecute these accidents. Convictions lead to incarceration and fines.
Build a defense for these charges with a member of our team. Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer right now. Just call our office at your earliest convenience or complete our online contact form.